On Episode 21, we will talk about how to refocus your blog for maximum success. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of refocusing and making a second blog, and how to go about refocusing without completely overwhelming yourself.
How To Refocus Your Blog For Maximum Success
Hey, it’s Katrina from Sandbox to Success and today we’re talking about refocusing your blog. This came about because I’ve been chatting with people a lot lately about refocusing their blogs. We’re at that time of year when everyone wants to add on a second blog or they’ve discovered their blogs aren’t really them anymore. We’ve refocused and added on several blogs as well as refocused, so I’d like to share the pros and cons and the best ways we’ve found to do it.
First thing is, if you’re thinking of refocusing you probably should. If you’re thinking about it, there’s something that you don’t like about your blog or aren’t super in love with. Maybe you have a passion for traveling and you’d like to talk more about that on your blog. Maybe you talk about babies a lot and your kids have grown. In our eBook “How to Start a Mom Blog” we talk a lot about choosing a domain name and the 3 pillars. We’ll be going back to those basics today.
If you have a broad domain name, you have a lot more leeway in regards to what you can talk about. For us, it’s Thinking Outside The Sandbox Family. We could talk about basically anything that has to do with family. We decided to go with more of attachment parenting, we could go more commercial if we’d like. If your blog is, however, “Moms with Babies, Only Babies up To Age Two,” it’d probably be harder to break into the teen market.
What Is Working With Your Current Blog?
If you are thinking of opening a second blog, you should focus on what is working with your current blog first. Write down what is working with your current blog. If it’s giving you everything you need (viewers, money, success, etc.) than starting a second blog may be a good idea. You’ll be able to divide your efforts more because you already have a strong base. If your first blog isn’t giving you everything you need, you probably don’t want to start another. You’re only one person and can only divide your time up so much. The more blogs you have, the more divided your efforts are. We’ve been putting a lot of focus on our TOTS Family blog lately. Our views have gone up by 25%, engagement has gone up and we’re posting a lot more. During this, our Thinking Outside The Sandbox business page has slipped a bit. It’s consistent still, but that isn’t where our main focus is and that’s okay. Family is where our focus is right now and instead of having Thinking Outside The Sandbox as our primary blog, we swapped things a bit.
You need to ask yourself if you have the bandwidth that managing two blogs entails. Thanks to our awesome team, I have a bit more leeway to redirect my efforts.
Tots Family started 2 ½ years ago and was doing okay. The viewers, however, in the end of 2014/beginning of 2015 was nowhere near where it should have been. This is usually a big time of year and we were not capitalizing on that at all. So, we did a few different things…
We had an audit of our site done by Dan Morris from Blogging Concentrated. One piece of advice he gave us was that he didn’t really understand what our blog was about. There were a lot of “made up” categories like natural parenting, special parenting, etc. that people weren’t really looking for or understanding what they were. We took our categories and renamed them in January 2015. We went to Parenting, Family, Travel, Kids, Style, Food.
We kept our content the same but changed the categories. Our view increased tremendously. From January to now we’re about 450% of our traffic! That’s a simple change that you can make. For your blog, you may need to refocus these as well.
I suggested to someone who wanted to talk about travel more and possibly add a second blog, to redirect to a travel category on their current blog instead. There are WordPress programs that allow you to change the sidebar for certain categories. Now travel companies and viewers interested in travel can see this, without the blogger having to start a whole different blog.
Another person wanted to add a whole different demographic to her site. She’s a mother of older children going to college and university. She currently caters to the 50+ demographic. She wanted to attract more millennials since this is the group her children relate to. She wanted to add a different domain name that was a sister site like what we did for Thinking Outside the Sandbox and Thinking outside the Sandbox: Family. What she didn’t want, was a lot of added pressure and effort. She liked to blog and enjoyed that she could have a more laid back approach to her site. Instead of making a whole new site, she decided to add on to her current site with new categories. This allowed her to mesh the two demographics together.
To evaluate this for your blog, look for the tie ins. Evaluate the post that get a lot of traffic that you love, as opposed to the ones you don’t enjoy writing as much. Whatever isn’t working… phase out.
What to Do With Phased Out Content
Please don’t delete it! Even if you think no one cares about it anymore, you need to leave it. It’s indexed and has likely been shared on social media. If you receive clicks on this than people can come to your page and if they decide it isn’t about what they’re interested in; that’s okay. The only way you should delete it if you’re using it somewhere else, or selling it.
If you do delete, be sure to create a redirect that explains to readers why it’s missing and encourages them to check out other post on your site. You do not want them to get a “page is gone” error message because then you’ve lost them completely.
I hope if you are thinking about refocusing your blog, that these are handy dandy tips for you. I hope you think about checking these out, before you decide to delete everything and start anew. It’s all about maximizing your success, not working yourself so much that your eyes start to bleed and you just want to sleep all day!
That’s it for today guys, have an awesome week!
Thanks for listening to the Sandbox to Success podcast, with your host: Katrina M. Thom. If you like what you just heard, leave us a message at iTunes or Stitcher. We would also love to hear what you have to say. If you have more tips on attending a blogging conference, or you have attended one that is super stellar we’d love to hear about it! Either drop a comment in the comment box below or connect with us on social media! Join us next time for another edition of the Sandbox to Success podcast.